Some ballparks have a ton of statues. Others, not so many. Boston’s Fenway Park is in the not so many camp, with current statues of Ted Williams and a “Teammates” statue featuring Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr being the only ones.
But Fenway is about to get a third: Carl Yastrzemski’s statue will be unveiled on Sunday, Sept. 22 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his retirement.
Yaz is definitely worthy. After Williams, Yaz — winner of the 1967 Triple Crown, MVP Award and leader of the “Impossible Dream” Red Sox — is probably the best and most significant Red Sox in the team’s history. Indeed, even as he started to be surpassed in terms of production — and pushed out of the outfield — by Jim Rice, Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans as the 1970s wore on, Yaz was undoubtedly the face of the team and the hero of Sox fans who came of age at any time between the early 60s and early 80s.
Yastrzemski hit 452 home runs, drove in 1,844 runs and batted .285 while playing 3,308 games for Boston. And now he’s getting the bronze treatment.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.